19 seasons of Long Island Ducks baseball have come and gone. Players from all around the world and of all varieties of baseball experience have worn the Ducks uniform since the first pitch on April 28, 2000. In that time, they have played in front of nearly 8 million fans in Central Islip, and millions more around the rest of the country. Those players and coaches have also earned three Atlantic League Championships, seven Division Championships, 13 half-season Division Championships and over 1,300 victories. As the Ducks 20th Anniversary Season, presented by Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, approaches, it is time to determine which members of the Flock have stood above the rest.
Two outfield positions down; two to go! Fans have voted for the past two weeks on which outfielders they feel deserve spots on the 20th Anniversary Team. This week’s trio of nominees produces another strong crop of candidates. One is a Long Island native who spent three memorable seasons with the club. Another is the franchise’s all-time batting leader and one of the top players in Atlantic League history. The final candidate showcased impressive power during his stint on Long Island. Here is a look at the three choices for this week’s outfielder voting:
Ducks fans have always shown great affection for players that have Long Island roots. The first of our three nominees this week garnered a tremendous amount of support in his three years with the Ducks largely due to that trait. Kevin Haverbusch, a Massapequa High School product, joined the Ducks in 2006 after spending the previous two years with the Nashua Pride in the Atlantic League. He also had played in the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox organizations before his time in the ALPB. Haverbusch helped the Ducks reach the postseason in each of his three seasons with the club (2006-08) and combined to hit .271 over 273 games. Additionally, he totaled 35 home runs, 182 RBIs, 146 runs, and 74 doubles. Defensively, he committed just 14 errors with the Flock and showed versatility by playing all three outfield positions. Haverbusch earned an All-Star Game selection in 2007 and increased his batting average, home run and RBI totals in each season he’s played on Long Island.
Next up is a player that has become synonymous with the Ducks organization, especially in the current decade. Lew Ford first joined the Ducks in 2009 and made an immediate impression, posting a .330 batting average, a .407 on-base percentage, 10 homers, 55 RBIs and 117 hits in just 93 games. After a year in Mexico, the Texas native returned to Central Islip in 2011 and has been a part of the Ducks in each year since. His 2012 season saw him begin the year on Long Island, join the Baltimore Orioles organization and reach the Major Leagues, all in the same calendar year. He rejoined the Ducks late in 2013 to help lead them to their second consecutive championship. One season later, he became the first player in Atlantic League history to play all 140 games in a single season while also setting the league record for hits in a season (189), en route to being name the Atlantic League’s Player of the Year. Ford has earned three All-Star Game selections in his time with the Flock (2014, 2015 and 2018) and has played in five Atlantic League Championship Series. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in batting average at .322, and he has accrued 71 home runs, 413 RBIs, 440 runs scored, 186 doubles, and 245 walks in 675 games played.
Although our final candidate had the shortest stint with the Ducks of the three, he showcased arguably the most power among the group. Adam Bailey spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons with the Flock and combined to launch 35 home runs in 261 games. Though his batting average suffered a little in 2013, the Lincoln, Neb. native finished the year with 15 home runs, 57 RBIs, 54 runs, 130 hits and 24 doubles. After helping the Ducks into the postseason, his warning track catch on a fly ball off the bat of Somerset’s Jonny Tucker secured Long Island’s second straight Atlantic League Championship. The grab was the final out in an epic five-game series between the clubs that fueled the rivalry which exists today. One year later, Bailey became one of the most dangerous weapons in the Ducks lineup. He increased his batting average by nearly 50 points up to .301 and dramatically rose his totals in home runs (20, which led the team and tied for third in the league) and RBIs (89, second on the team to Ford’s 95 and fourth-most in the league). Bailey also upped his totals in runs (65) and hits (147), but most notably, he increased his walks from 28 to 41 and lowered his strikeouts from 112 to 88. For his efforts, he was selected to play in the Atlantic League All-Star Game at Sugar Land’s Constellation Field and was named to the league’s Post-Season All-Star team.
Alright fans, the time has come to cast your vote. Who do you think is most deserving of this week’s outfield spot: Kevin Haverbusch, Lew Ford or Adam Bailey? Click on the button below to head to our voting page and select which of the three should have a place on our 20th Anniversary Team. The winner, along with the remainder of the 20th Anniversary Team, will be unveiled at the beginning of the 2019 season!
Be sure to check back again next week, as we’ll reveal our final three nominees for an outfield position.
Lew Ford receives award after being voted the 2014 Delmonte-Smelson/Ducks MVP by fans
Atlantic League baseball has officially come to an end for the 2014 season. That became the case after the Lancaster Barnstormers completed a three-game sweep of the Sugar Land Skeeters on Friday night in the Atlantic League Championship Series. Game Three, which was at Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster, featured a 13-inning thriller that was ended on a walk-off home run to right field by Gabe Jacobo. Walk-off homers to win a championship are about as exciting as it gets.
For the Barnstormers, it is their second title in franchise history and first since 2006. Lancaster celebrated their 10th Anniversary Season in 2014 and capped it off with a championship. From their run to the playoffs to their nail biter of a series against Somerset in the first round to their performance in the Championship Series, it was an exciting run for Lancaster. Congratulations to manager Butch Hobson and the rest of the Barnstormers on winning it all in 2014. In addition, a tip of the cap as well to the Freedom Division champion Sugar Land Skeeters on a great season and their first ever appearance in the Atlantic League Championship Series.
So, with the season in the rearview mirror, it’s time to take a look back at which Ducks stood out the most during the 2014 season. There were several players who had standout seasons with the Flock this year both offensively and on the mound. Prior to the end of the season, the Ducks handed out two awards on Fan Appreciation Day. Lew Ford was voted by the fans as the Delmonte-Smelson/Long Island Ducks Most Valuable Player. Fehlandt Lentini also won the P.C. Richard and Son Whistle Player of the Year after scoring the most runs when he was the Whistle Player of the Game. As we close the Blog’s first-ever season (don’t worry, more posts to follow), here are our picks for the First Annual “Quack of the Bat” Ducks Team Awards:
This one was a no-doubter. Many players in the Long Island Ducks’ 15-year history have put together outstanding seasons. Few have put up a year as impressive as Ford’s was in 2014. The former Major Leaguer became the first player in Atlantic League history to appear in all 140 games during a single season, doing so as he transitioned from 37 years old to 38. Not only was he an “Iron Horse” in the lineup, he also was one of the most feared hitters in the league. The fifth-year Duck set a league record with 189 hits, led the league in doubles (40) and finished second in the league in batting average (.347), RBI (95), runs (100), total bases (278) and on-base percentage (.415). May was his most dominant month, as Ford earned league Player of the Month honors after batting .402 and compiling a .470 on-base percentage. His defense (more on that a bit later) was also outstanding, and in his first year as Hitting Coach, he helped lead the best offense in the Atlantic League in terms of batting average (.279). Whether or not he is named the league’s Player of the Year is still to be determined, but he is surely deserving of that honor for the Ducks.
Honorable Mention: Adam Bailey
Pitcher of the Year: Bobby Blevins
Several Ducks pitchers had standout years in 2014. John Brownell set franchise records in starts (29) and innings pitched (202). Shaun Garceau posted a 13-4 record. Jared Lansford compiled a 3.22 ERA and 123 strikeouts in his first full season as a starter. However, no one was more consistent on the mound for the Flock than Bobby Blevins. The right-hander posted a 2.95 ERA this past season, which was the third-lowest in the Atlantic League. He was second in the league with 189.1 innings pitched and three complete games, tied for third with 27 starts and sixth in strikeouts (119). Ulimately, Blevins finished with a 9-5 record that was simply not representative of how dominant he was. Blevins took 13 no-decisions in 2014. Of those 13, he left with the lead in eight of them. In the five where the Ducks were not ahead, they gave Blevins just two runs or less of support. Eight of his first 10 starts in 2014 were quality starts, and he followed that up by tossing 12 consecutive quality starts from July 4 to September 3. During that second stretch, he was also named the league’s Pitcher of the Month for August after going 4-0 with a 1.10 ERA. While he may not have had the highest win total among Ducks pitchers, his consistent dominance earned him this honor.
Honorable Mention: John Brownell
No one on the Ducks in 2014 had a turnaround quite like Adam Bailey from the previous year. His first season with the Flock in 2013 ended with a championship, and he put together solid numbers for the most part. He had played in 133 games, hit 15 home runs, drove in 57 runs and compiled 130 hits. However, Bailey batted just .254, compiled a .292 on-base percentage, drew just 28 walks and struck out 112 times. A year later, he became one of the vital pieces of Long Island’s offense. Bailey hit .301 in 2014, an increase of 47 points, and finished with a .355 on-base percentage, an increase of 63 points. He led the Flock with 20 home runs, collected 89 RBI, had 147 hits and scored 65 runs. Not to mention, he drew 41 walks, an increase of 13, while striking out just 88 times, a decrease of 24. In addition, he was named the league’s Player of the Month in August after batting .330. His season was worthy of an All-Star Game selection and of the distinction for being the Most Improved Duck in 2014.
Honorable Mention: Jared Lansford
This “Quack of the Bat” Blog award is being given to the player who put together the most impressive season while in his first year with the Ducks. For 2014, the honor goes to Fehlandt Lentini. The outfielder did not have the same dominance at the plate as guys like Ford and Bailey, but he was a consistent presence and force in the Ducks lineup. Lentini appeared in all but three games during the season, third-most in the Atlantic League behind Ford and Cody Puckett (138), and finished among the league leaders in several categories. Most impressive was his perfect mark on the bases. He stole 46 bases in 2014, second-most behind Wilson Valdez (55, York), but Lentini was never caught stealing. The 37-year-old led the league in at-bats (593), a new Atlantic League record, and finished second in hits (172), third in runs (96) and fourth in doubles (36). Lentini was a terrific tablesetter at the top of the Ducks lineup, and outside of a rough month of September, he was the biggest contributor among Ducks “rookies” this season.
Honorable Mention: Cody Puckett
The Ducks bullpen had several highs and lows during the season. Despite losing too many late leads this year, as the relievers themselves would concur, most of the bullpen arms put together solid years and came up in some big spots along the way. Of them all, Brett Lorin was the one who stood out the most to “Quack of the Bat.” In his first season with the Flock, the 6-foot-7 right-hander appeared in 53 games, second-most on the team behind Eric Niesen (59). He finished with a strong 2.77 ERA, saved two games and struck out 35 batters over 52 innings of work. Despite being hampered at points by a groin injury, Lorin yielded only 16 earned runs and did not allow a single run in his first 16 appearances of the season. He then went 14 straight games without allowing an earned run from July 11 to August 6. Lorin’s consistency and versatility out of the bullpen earns him the nod as Reliever of the Year.
Honorable Mentions: Eric Niesen
The Blog award for best defensive player on the Ducks was extremely hard to determine. Several players frequently made marvelous plays in the field and stood out from the pack. After much internal debate, we’ve decided to share the award between Ford and Bailey. Ford’s defense was strong throughout the season in center field, and he did not commit a single error in the 97 games he played in the field. The former big leaguer also finished the year with four outfield assists. As for Bailey, he appeared in the outfield in 124 games this season and committed just four errors. In addition, he compiled seven outfield assists and frequently turned in outstanding diving and running catches on an almost nightly basis. Long Island’s outfield was arguably the strongest piece of their team in 2014, and both Bailey and Ford demonstrated top-notch defense from April to September.
Honorable Mention: Dan Lyons
The Ducks had several players join the team this season and make impressive debuts. However, no one in our mind was quite as eye-opening as Tommy Organ. The left-handed reliever, who was acquired from the River City Rascals of the Frontier League in the trade for Jon Myers, dazzled out of the bullpen in the second half of the season. Organ appeared in 20 games with the Flock and allowed runs in just two of them (August 24 against Somerset and September 21 against Southern Maryland). He compiled a 2.28 ERA and struck out 18 batters in 19.2 innings while walking just five. When Long Island was fighting for a playoff berth in early September, Organ became an arm that manager Kevin Baez relied on to pick up big outs, and he came through in a big way. Not to mention, he did this all at the age of 23 and in his first season of professional baseball.
Honorable Mention: Evan Crawford
One of the most integral aspects of the Long Island Ducks is their presence in the community. Players, coaches and staff can frequently be seen at hospitals, schools, bowling alleys, grand openings, expos and many more locations throughout Long Island. In the humble opinion of this blogger, no player showcased his desire to be a part of that community presence more than Niesen. The left-handed reliever was frequently seen at community events, whether bowling with fans at the annual Bowl with the Ducks, teaching little leaguers at the Ducks Baseball Clinics or posing for pictures with young Ducks fans at Kids Club Day. In addition, Niesen could also be found quite often signing autographs before home games at the Bethpage Federal Credit Union Autograph Booth. The third-year Duck has always enjoyed joining the Ducks in the community.
Honorable Mention: Sergio Miranda
What do you think of our selections fans? Do you feel there is another award we should add to this list? Let us know by leaving your comments at the end of this post. In addition, be sure to keep your eyes out for this year’s Atlantic League awards to see which Ducks might by honored by the league for their performances in 2014. Once announced, they will be posted on AtlanticLeague.com and we will be sure to update you here as well. Until then, we hope everyone’s offseason is off to a great start!
The Long Island Ducks return to action tonight at Bethpage Ballpark for the fifth-to-last game of the 2014 regular season. Also, it is Bark in the Park night at the Duck Pond! With under a week left in the season, all of the games at the Duck Pond are becoming even more exciting. Last night’s ballgame against the Lancaster Barnstormers featured another nail-biter between the two teams that have been among the most productive in the league all season long. Despite Lancaster now holding a 12-6 advantage in the season series, there have been some memorable games between these teams. That includes the Ducks’ three-run ninth inning rally on May 9 in Lancaster to win a 10-8 thriller, and of course the Flock’s 19-3 drubbing of the ‘Stormers on the road on May 28.
Last night’s game followed suit in the trend of exciting games between these two teams, though this time it went Lancaster’s way. The Barnstormers were in control of the game early, taking a 3-0 lead through the top of the sixth on RBI doubles from Juan Apodaca in the second, Lance Zawadzki in the fourth and Gabe Jacobo in the sixth. Meanwhile, ‘Stormers starter Dan Osterbrock was dominant in the early goings, having only allowed two hits while striking out six through his first five innings.However, the tide turned in the bottom of the fifth when Lew Ford got the Ducks on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly to deep right field. Ducks’ starter Shaun Garceau followed in the top of the seventh with a 1-2-3 inning to set the table for Long Island’s comeback.
The Flock did just that, as a solo home run from Adam Bailey – his team-leading 20th of the season – and an RBI single from Fehlandt Lentini in the bottom of the seventh evened up the ballgame at three. Long Island carried the momentum through a scoreless eighth inning, despite Ford drawing a lead-off walk and the Ducks twice having the winning run on base. The Barnstormers capitalized in the ninth, taking the lead for good on a two-out, two-run single from Blake Gailen. It marked another close loss for the Ducks this year, and another exciting chapter in the story between these two teams this season.
CLICK HERE to view the full recap from Tuesday’s game, complete with audio highlights and postgame comments from Kevin Baez and Shaun Garceau.
Gearing towards tonight, the Flock will send Jared Lansford to the mound for his 25th start of the season. The third-year Duck, and first-year starting pitcher, has continued his strong play all season long, carrying an 8-5 record alongside a 3.03 earned run average and 116 strikeouts against 40 walks in 154 and one-third innings pitched. Lansford’s ERA ranks third in the Atlantic League, while his strikeouts rank fifth. The righty made his first start of the season (and first start since 2008) against Lancaster on May 10th, tossing three shutout innings on two hits while striking out five. Overall against the ‘Stormers, Lansford is 0-1 in three starts with a 3.12 ERA (six earned runs in 17 and one-third innings).
He will work against Shunsuke Watanabe tonight, who toes the rubber for his 38th appearance (15th start) of the year. The first-year ‘Stormer is 8-2 this year with a 3.42 ERA and 84 strikeouts against just 28 walks in 113 and one-third innings of work. Watanabe has not lost since July 3 at Somerset, and has not allowed more than two runs in any appearance since yielding three runs over four and one-third innings of relief against the Ducks on July 10 in a winning effort. In addition, the Japan countryman has won each of his last four starts, including a complete game his last time out on September 12 against the Sugar Land with eight strikeouts. In five relief appearances against Long Island this year, Watanabe is 1-0 with a 4.70 ERA (four runs over seven and two-thirds innings).
Here are today’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Tonight marks the 19th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Barnstormers and ninth of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Barnstormers lead the series 12-6, including a 5-3 edge at Bethpage Ballpark. Long Island and Lancaster have played 192 games against each other all-time, with the Ducks holding a 99-93 lead and a 48-44 advantage at home.
Challenge Accepted (and Met): Adam Bailey’s solo home run in the seventh inning on Tuesday was his team-leading 20th homer of the season. In addition, it was the 100th home run for Long Island this year, meaning the Ducks have met the Chapey’s Home Run Challenge. Chapey’s Funeral Homes will now donate $5,000 to the QuackerJack Foundation, the charitable arm of the Ducks. Long Island has now met the Chapey’s Home Run Challenge in eight consecutive seasons. Bailey is the first Duck to hit 20 homers in a single season since Brandon Sing launched 26 in 2012.
The Streak Continues: With two hits on Tuesday, Cody Puckett has now hit safely in six consecutive games. During the streak he is batting .375 (9-for-24) with two doubles, one homer, two RBI, three runs and one walk. Puckett has now totaled 29 two-hit and 43 multi-hit games this season.
Off to the Races: Fehlandt Lentini stole his 46th base of the season in the first inning on Tuesday. The all-time independent baseball stolen base leader has yet to be caught stealing in any of his attempts this year. He ranks second in the Atlantic League in steals behind Wilson Valdez of York (53). In addition, Lentini earned his team-leading 36th two-hit game of the year and 48th multi-hit game overall.
Oh, What a Relief They Are: With a scoreless inning on Tuesday, Kris Regas tossed his fifth consecutive scoreless appearance. In those five outings, the southpaw has allowed three hits and one walk while striking out four. Despite giving up two runs on Tuesday, the Ducks bullpen has combined to allow three runs over their last 13.2 innings (1.98 ERA) on 11 hits and three walks with 16 strikeouts.
Smacking the ‘Stormers: Lew Ford continued his outstanding play against the Barnstormers this season with a sacrifice fly and walk on Tuesday. He leads all Ducks players with a .444 (32-for-72) batting average, 23 RBI, 15 runs, 32 hits and 10 walks in 18 games against the ‘Stormers. On the mound, Josh Lansford and Brett Lorin have combined to throw 8.2 scoreless innings against Lancaster in 2014. Jared Lansford leads all Ducks starters with a 3.12 ERA this season against the Barnstormers.
On the Air: Today’s ballgame with be broadcast with live streaming audio and video available on the Ducks official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. Chris King will call the play-by-play.
Finally, here are today’s starting lineups.
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#11 C.J. Retherford – DH
#2 Cody Puckett – 2B
#14 Brandon Bantz – C
#22 Joash Brodin – 1B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#21 Jared Lansford – RHP
#2 Blake Gailen – CF
#10 Olmo Rosario – 3B
#8 Cole Garner – LF
#24 Andrew Clark – DH
#35 Brett Carroll – RF
#30 Wilson Batista – 3B
#15 Gabe Jacobo – 1B
#4 Lance Zawadzki – SS
#28 Keith Castillo – C
#9 Shunsuke Watanabe – RHP
Be sure to check back here for updates throughout the ballgame from Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks look to get back to their winning ways!
UPDATE (6:46): TOP 1: Lancaster opens the game with a solo homer to right by Blake Gailen. 1-0 Barnstormers.
UPDATE (7:31): TOP 3: The ‘Stormers extend their lead to three on Olmo Rosario’s RBI single and Andrew Clark’s sacrifice fly.
UPDATE (7:46): BOT 3: RBI fielder’s choice by Lew Ford cuts the deficit to 3-1. It is Ford’s 93rd RBI of 2014, just two shy of the league lead (95, Chad Tracy, York)!
UPDATE (8:15): TOP 5: Wilson Batista hits a two-out, two-run homer to right, which extends the Lancaster lead to 5-1.
UPDATE (8:31): BOT 5: Ducks tack on their second run of the game on a RBI ground out to second by Brendan Harris!
UPDATE (9:17): BOT 7: A run-scoring ground out off the bat of Fehlandt Lentini has trimmed the deficit to two at 5-3!
UPDATE (9:49): BOT 8: Cody Puckett ties the game at five with a two-run double to right-center field! He extends his hitting streak to seven games!
UPDATE (10:02): FINAL: Brendan Harris delivers a waddle-off RBI double to left-center field! Fourth walk-off victory of the year! Ducks win it 6-5!
The Long Island Ducks look to salvage their three-game series tonight when they take on the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at Bethpage Ballpark. Before the game, the Ducks will be paying tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The ballpark flags will be at half-staff, a giant American flag will be unfurled behind home plate and there will be a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims of the tragedy 13 years ago today. In addition, fans can pay tribute by visiting the steel beam from the World Trade Center and a plaque honoring the Long Islanders who perished in the attacks located on the plaza outside of Bethpage Ballpark behind home plate.
Last night, the Ducks dropped their second straight against the Blue Crabs, and fifth overall game, in a 9-7 seesaw battle. Both teams combined for 26 hits in the contest, which saw two ties and two lead changes. In just the first inning alone, both teams plated two runs apiece to get the scoring started. A sac fly from Jake Opitz and a run-scoring double steal gave the Crabs the early lead before the Flock evened things up on RBI singles from Lew Ford and Cody Puckett. Southern Maryland regained the lead in the third inning on a two-run double from Steve Moss, who finished the game 2-4 with three RBI and a run scored.
Long Island took its first lead of the series in the bottom of the fourth with three runs on a two-out rally, including a two-run single from Adam Bailey, to take a 5-4 lead. The Blue Crabs responded with four runs (one in the sixth, three in the seventh) to regain an 8-5 lead only to see the Ducks storm back again. This time, however, Long Island would come up short. Two-out RBI singles from Bailey and C.J. Retherford brought the Flock within a run, before a wild pitch put the tying run at third base and the go-ahead run at second with Cody Puckett at the plate. With momentum on the Ducks’ side, Puckett fouled out to Blue Crabs first baseman C.J. Ziegler to end the threat, and ultimately the team’s hopes of coming back in the ballgame.
CLICK HERE to view the full recap from Wednesday’s game, complete with the audio highlights and postgame comments from Kevin Baez and Ford.
Jared Lansford toes the rubber tonight for the Ducks in his 24th start of the year. The third-year Duck is 8-5 this year with a 2.91 earned run average and 113 strikeouts against 38 walks over 148 and one-third innings of work. Lansford’s 2.91 ERA and 113 strikeouts both rank fourth in the Atlantic League. The righty has allowed just one earned run in each of his last three starts, and has won four of his last five starts. In two starts against the Blue Crabs this season, Lansford is 2-0, having allowed five runs (two earned) over 11 innings.
Southern Maryland will send Jake Hale to the mound for his 24th appearance (13th start) of the season. The first-year Blue Crab originally began the season with the Camden Riversharks, posting a 5-3 record with a 3.85 ERA over 12 starts. Since coming over to Southern Maryland, Hale is 1-0 over 11 relief appearances with a 3.62 ERA. Overall, Hale has tossed 104 innings this year, striking out 49 batters against just 24 walks. Hale has twice worked four innings of relief for Southern Maryland this season, but will be making his first start in a Blue Crabs uniform tonight. In two appearances (one start) against the Flock this year, Hale has allowed six runs on eight hits and three walks with one strikeout over six innings.
Here are tonight’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Blue Crabs: Tonight marks the 17th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Blue Crabs and seventh of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Ducks lead the series 11-5 and have a 4-2 lead at home. Long Island and Southern Maryland have played 133 games against each other all-time, with the Blue Crabs holding a 72-61 lead overall and a 35-34 advantage on Long Island.
Harris Remains Hot: Brendan Harris picked up a single on Wednesday to extend his on-base streak to 25 consecutive games. He has earned hits in 22 of the 25 contests. Cody Puckett has the longest on-base streak by a Duck this year (29, 5/6-6/6). During the 25-game on-base streak, Harris is batting .354 (35-for-99) with six doubles, three home runs, 15 RBI, 22 runs and 17 walks.
Three’s Company: With three singles on Wednesday, Adam Bailey picked up his 11th three-hit game and 40th multi-hit game of the year. The second-year Duck has now earned at least one hit in 15 of his last 18 games and multiple hits in nine of them. In addition, Bailey drove in three runs for the sixth time this year, the most on the Ducks. He leads the team with 23 multi-RBI games this year.
Ford’s on Fire: With two singles on Wednesday, Lew Ford earned his 32nd two-hit and team-leading 53rd multi-hit game of the year. The former big leaguer has multiple hits in 10 of his last 14 contests. During that span, Ford is batting .421 (24-for-57) with four doubles, one home run, 10 RBI and 12 runs. The fifth-year Duck has now hit safely in five consecutive games and in 23 of his last 26 games.
Fehlandt’s Fury: With a double and a single on Wednesday, Fehlandt Lentini collected his team-best 34th two-hit game and 46th multi-hit contest overall. The double was his 33rd of the year, which ranks third in the Atlantic League, five behind league leader and teammate Ford.
Hot Start: With a RBI single on Wednesday, C.J. Retherford has picked up a hit in eight of his nine games with the Flock. The infielder has 11 hits in his first 33 at-bats (.333 AVG) with five RBI, five runs and four walks. Three of his five RBI have come with two outs in an inning.
Oh, What a Relief He Is: Tommy Organ tossed a scoreless one-third of an inning on Wednesday. He now has appeared in seven consecutive games without allowing a run. In that span, the southpaw has given up just three hits and two walks while striking out five over seven innings of work. In addition, Organ has allowed a run in just one of his 15 games thus far with Long Island (3 on 8/24 vs. Somerset).
On the Air: Tonight’s ballgame with be broadcast on the Ducks official YouTube channel. Fans can also follow all of the action online by CLICKING HERE. Marc Schwartz will call the play-by-play.
Finally, here is tonight’s starting lineup for the Ducks:
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#6 Bill Hall – DH
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#11 C.J. Retherford – 1B
#2 Cody Puckett – 2B
#23 Jan Vazquez – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#21 Jared Lansford – RHP
#4 Bobby Stevens – SS
#20 Jermaine Mitchell – CF
#15 Cyle Hankerd – RF
#2 Jake Opitz – 2B
#12 Steve Moss – DH
#44 C.J. Ziegler – 1B
#23 Mike Schwartz – LF
#19 Angel Chavez – 3B
#8 James Skelton – C
#28 Jake Hale – RHP
Keep it here for updates throughout the game at Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks look to salvage the series finale.
UPDATE (6:45): Giant American flag on the field along with several Veteran groups for tonight’s moment of silence & National Anthem:
UPDATE (6:54): TOP 1: A two-out RBI single from Jake Opitz gives the Blue Crabs a 1-0 lead
UPDATE (7:27): BOT 2: DUCKS LEAD! Bill Hall and Adam Bailey go back-to-back w/ solo homers before Cody Puckett goes deep to give the Flock a 3-1 lead!
UPDATE (7:45): TOP 3: Blue Crabs tie the ballgame on a two-out, two-run single from C.J. Ziegler
UPDATE (8:17): TOP 5: Southern Maryland regains the lead on a RBI single from Jake Opitz. 4-3 Blue Crabs
UPDATE (8:28): BOT 5: TIED AGAIN! Brendan Harris with a two-out RBI double to extend his on-base streak to 25-consecutive games and even the game at four!
UPDATE (9:06): TOP 7: A run-scoring error, bases-loaded walk and sacrifice fly gives the Blue Crabs a 7-4 lead
UPDATE (9:25): TOP 8: Bobby Stevens with a solo home run to increase the Blue Crabs lead to 8-4
UPDATE (9:56): FINAL: Blue Crabs defeat the Ducks 8-4. The Flock now hit the road for a three-game series in York before returning home Tues., Sept. 16th
For a second consecutive night, the Ducks dropped a one-run game in Texas, falling to the Skeeters in a 4-3 nailbiter on Saturday. The Ducks had built an early 3-0 lead in the game, but one big inning turned the tables, and Long Island was unable to recover. After taking the first four games to open up this week-long series at Constellation Field, the Skeeters have rebounded with a couple of close wins entering today’s series finale.
The Skeeters have been the top defensive team in the Atlantic League this season. Entering Saturday, they had committed the fewest errors in the league and had the highest fielding percentage in the eight-team league. However, three errors over the first three innings led to three Ducks runs. Michael Rockett could not handle Brendan Harris’ ground ball two batters into the game, and then David Pauley airmailed a throw to first on a swinging bunt from Adam Bailey. Two runs would end up scoring on the overthrow. Then in the third, C.J. Retherford hit a slow roller to second, and Chase Lambin’s throw to first was mishandled by Delwyn Young. Ford scampered home from third on the miscue, which was ruled a straight error by Young, and the Ducks had a 3-0 lead.
Doug Arguello started for the Flock and threw four scoreless innings to open the game. However, things fell apart for him in the fifth. He allowed four straight singles to open the inning, cutting the Ducks lead to 3-1. Then, he did not get the call on two close pitches to Denny Almonte and eventually walked in the second run for the Skeeters. After Sergio Perez was brought into the game, the right-hander gave up back-to-back RBI singles before getting out of the inning. However, the damage had been done, and the Skeeters had a 4-3 advantage.
Long Island threatened later in the game a couple of times. They had two on with one out in the seventh, but Ford hit into what was called an inning ending double play despite Ford seeming to have beaten out the throw to first. Then in the ninth, Brandon Bantz led off the inning with a single, and Fehlandt Lentini was hit by a pitch from Brian Broderick with two outs. However, Harris grounded out to second base to end the game.
Today’s series finale will feature a rematch on the mound from Tuesday’s opener. The Ducks will send out John Brownell, who earned the win with eight innings of three-run ball. Brownell battled throughout the game, giving up nine hits. However, he did not walk a batter and kept the offense in the game until they were able to rally for four runs in the ninth inning off Gary Majewski. The righty is tied for the league lead in wins with 13 and has a 3.71 ERA this year. Brownell has tossed back-to-back quality starts and seven quality starts in his last eight outings.
He’ll be opposed by Steve Hammond, who would have earned the win on Tuesday had Majewski not blown the save in the ninth. The southpaw tossed six innings, allowing just one run on five hits and three walks while striking out six in the series opener. He is now 9-8 with a 3.27 ERA this season and has not allowed more than three earned runs in each of his last seven starts. Hammond is 0-2 in three starts against the Ducks this season and has a 3.71 ERA against Long Island.
Here are today’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Skeeters: Tonight marks the final meeting of the season between the Ducks and Skeeters and final of 10 games between them in Texas. The Ducks lead the series 13-6 and have a 6-3 lead on the road. Long Island and Sugar Land have played 59 games against each other all-time, with the Skeeters holding a 32-27 lead overall and a 19-10 advantage at Constellation Field.
Starter Domination: Ducks starters have been strong overall during Long Island’s last 10 games. Following Doug Arguello’s start on Saturday, Ducks starters have combined to post a 1.92 ERA over their last 10 games, yielding just 14 earned runs over 65.2 innings of work. They have also combined to allow just 58 hits and 12 walks while striking out 37.
Multi-Hit King: With two hits on Saturday night, Lew Ford earned his team-leading 51st multi-hit game of the season. The former big leaguer has 30 two-hit games, a team-high 16 three-hit games and a team-best five four-hit contests. Ford has picked up multiple hits in nine of his last 12 games overall. In those 12 games, he is batting .423 (22-for-52) with five doubles, two homers, 10 RBI and 11 runs.
Harris is Heating Up: With a single on Saturday, Brendan Harris extended his hitting streak to 20 consecutive games. During the streak, Harris is batting .400 (32-for-80) with six doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI, 20 runs and 13 walks. He has multiple hits in eight of the 20 games.
Hot Start: Despite going hitless on Saturday, C.J. Retherford has picked up a hit in five of his first six games with the Flock. The infielder has eight hits in his first 24 at-bats with three RBI, four runs and two walks. Three of his first six games have been multi-hit contests, and two of his three runs batted in have come with two outs in an inning.
Bailey’s Bashing the Ball: Adam Bailey earned a hit on Saturday and has now reached base safely in 14 of his last 15 games. He’s earned a hit in 13 of them and multiple hits in eight. In those 15 games, Bailey’s batting .379 (22-for-58) with two doubles, three homers, 11 RBI, seven runs and seven walks.
Oh, What a Relief He Is: Brett Lorin tossed a scoreless inning of relief on Saturday. He has now pitched four consecutive scoreless outings and has allowed just one run over his past 16 games. In that span, the righty has a 2-1 record with a 0.63 ERA and has given up seven hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 14.1 innings of work. Lorin’s 1.94 ERA this season is the lowest among active Ducks pitchers.
On the Air: Today’s ballgame with be broadcast on the Ducks official YouTube channel. Fans can also follow all of the action online by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play.
Finally, here are today’s starting lineups.
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – CF
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#11 C.J. Retherford – 1B
#2 Cody Puckett – 2B
#22 Joash Brodin – RF
#23 Jan Vazquez – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#7 John Brownell – RHP
#41 Adam Godwin – CF
#9 Rene Tosoni – RF
#24 Delwyn Young – 1B
#29 Ryan Langerhans – DH
#14 Denny Almonte – LF
#4 Dominic Ramos – SS
#7 Todd Jennings – C
#2 Michael Rockett – 3B
#6 Bridger Hunt – 2B
#18 Steve Hammond – LHP
Keep it here for updates throughout the game at Constellation Field as the Ducks and Skeeters close out their seven-game series here in Texas!
UPDATE (2:20): TOP 1: Ducks take advantage of two Skeeters errors and get the early lead on a sac fly to right by Lew Ford!
UPDATE (2:25): The skies have opened here in Texas as we were about to begin the bottom of the first. Stay tuned for updates on the weather here.
UPDATE (2:53): Rain still coming down quite hard in Sugar Land with a lot of lightning. No update on a start time yet.
UPDATE (3:31): The rain is still falling steadily, but it has definitely lightened up. Tarp remains on the field in Sugar Land.
UPDATE (4:35): The tarp is now coming off the field in Sugar Land. No start time announced yet. Skeeters staff working on field and dugouts now.
UPDATE (4:39): Once today’s game resumes, the broadcast will continue on our official YouTube channel and not on LI News Radio. The broadcast can be heard by CLICKING HERE.
UPDATE (4:58): Well, the tarp just went back on the field, as it appears that more rain is beginning to fall. Stay tuned for further updates.
UPDATE (5:46): Rain continues to fall steadily, and the tarp remains on the field. No update as to when they expect to resume play.
UPDATE (6:16): The Skeeters staff has officially taken the tarp off the field once again. Baseball may be starting in the near future. Despite the tarp removal, rain is still falling at Constellation Field.
UPDATE (6:39): Players slowly emerging from the clubhouses as the Skeeters staff works on the infield dirt. Rain delay is officially over four hours.
UPDATE (7:08): We are back underway in Sugar Land!
UPDATE (7:41): BOT 3: Skeeters tie the game at one on a RBI double to right by Rene Tosoni.
UPDATE (8:09): TOP 5: Brendan Harris puts the Ducks back in front with a two-run homer to left!
UPDATE (8:29): TOP 6: Ducks add another run in the sixth inning on a RBI infield single to short from Jan Vazquez! 4-1 Flock!
UPDATE (8:43): BOT 6: Skeeters close to within 4-3 on a two-out two-run double by Michael Rockett.
UPDATE (9:10): TOP 7: Ducks go back up by two on Adam Bailey’s sac fly to right!
UPDATE (9:41): FINAL: Skeeters rally for three runs in the ninth and win it 6-5 over the Ducks to close out the series.